October 31, 2008

My Wet Nurse

I once knew a woman who made a savory soup with her newborn's placenta. She told me this while I was at her house...eating dinner. Granted, this conversation took place in Boulder, Colorado, a place where such practices are not only normal, but also encouraged, but still...

Since this episode some 10 years ago, I have been a little freaked out by objects that are expelled from the female body during and after birth. This would include breast milk. I felt this way, that is, until I had a growth-restricted baby with no immune system who really needed it.

While most women produce breast milk like manna--just enough for each day--Tim's sister is one of the select few who produces enough milk each day to feed all of Egypt. When she heard about our plight, she very generously volunteered to donate her frozen supply. On Wednesday morning, a cooler full of frozen milk boarded a Southwest flight from L.A. to Philly.

Any weirdness that I may have felt about feeding my son someone else's breast milk disappeared when Cameron stopped puking after his feedings. In fact, the more that I think about it, the more that I like the idea of having my own wet nurse. For one thing, it enables me to pretend that I live in the Middle Ages, something that is not too hard to do given that most members of my household also bathe irregularly and eat with their fingers.

The only downside of having a wet nurse who lives in California is that I have had to come up with some place to store all of the frozen milk. When Tim's mom (the milk's escort) said that she was bringing a cooler, I was expecting a small Igloo; neither me nor my freezer was prepared to receive 25 gallons of frozen liquid. To accommodate the sheer volume of my sister-in-law's gift, I had to ask a friend if I could store some of the milk in her freezer. My friend agreed to my unique request under one condition. She is selling her house and wants to include the stash in her home's asking price. She is hopeful that the 50 pounds of "liquid gold" will be the feature that sets her property apart from the competition and brings in a motivated buyer.

26 comments

Jen said...

That is GREAT that you have your own Wet Nurse! How exciting for you and Cameron!

MommaKiss said...

That is indeed liquid gold, and an amazing gift.

happy H-ween

Tina said...

I think this is one of the most fantastic things I have ever heard. I LOVE it!

The Mommy said...

OK. I'll admit when I read the title I was expecting a soggy story about your daughter's Halloween costume. This is a much more amazing one. I'm glad the little guy is doing well with his supply of liquid gold. And God Bless your SIL!

brossettelewis said...

That's awesome, except for the fact that it was literally across the country. I think the storm trooper would have a contact locally to find a "service provider". I'm glad the liquid gold helps him.


Now I can't wait to see the number of readers that offer to send you mom juice. :)

Ilana said...

You'll bring wet nurses back into style! Thanks for the laughs.

Emma said...

Great post as always. Also, this is neither here nor there, but you may want to put your settings so when people sign up for your blog through their RSS reader, they only get the first few lines and have to click to your blog to see the rest of the post. Helps with ad venue, I would think, although I could easily be wrong as I'm not that savvy to how blog advertising works.

Thanks for the daily laughs :)

Rachel said...

I think it's great that she is wililng to provide this for your little guy. I don't think I could be so selfless...leaky boobs, pain and those oh-so-sexy nursing bras would prevent me from giving such a gift to anyone but my own kids...and I didn't even do it for them due to my blood clotting disorder.

gabersgamma said...

Geez-don't let PETA hear about this.......they'll be saying you should have sold your SIL liquid gold to Ben & Jerry's to make ice cream so the poor cows don't have to suffer!!

Aimee said...

Jeez I envy her... I would pump for 45 mins for 5 ounces. Yay for her for being so selfless!!

HM said...

How absolutely wonderful of her. BTW, if the house sells fast, (you never know, the frozen stash may be the selling point) I have room in my freezer as well.

Makayla said...

25 GALLONS? Seriously? How fast did she get that much? Wow.

utmomof5 said...

I would have been one fo those that could have feed all of Eygpt. That is a great gift!!

Placenta soup is just gross, sorry :) My SIS told me about your blog, she was right you are fun to read about. I will be back to read more!!

togetherforgood said...

That's a whole lotta boob juice.

Anytime you want it I'd be glad to share my recipe for Placenta Pudding.

Cookies Connection said...

Funny story! Made my day.

Riahli said...

How wonderful, what a caring and loving sister-in-law to be willing to pump all that milk and then give it away! I'm so glad she was able to do this for you, mommy milk is so good for babies...liquid gold indeed!

Angie said...

This is the first time I've visited your blog. Your house sounds oh so much like my house :)

Kelly said...

All of Egypt, huh? That sounds like me. I even breast fed my twins...and there was always plenty for both of them. As a lactating mother right now, I can really relate to this post.

tifferbob said...

I don't know about all of Egypt, but I've always said I could nurse a small village, if needed when lactating.

What a great sister-in-law!

The Beadles said...

You have some amazing relatives! I sure hope he's liking.

Sarah said...

How lucky for you! It is extemely valuable. I had a nurse try to convince me to sell my extra since I had an overabundance. I almost considered it when she told me that I could get up to $20 an ounce.

Diva Ma said...

Okay, I have to admit that I would be a little weirded about another women nursing my baby too, but for the health of my child, I'd try anything. It is a great thing that he is taking to it so well. Go Cameron!

Janee said...

Jana,

I don't remember the last time Duke beat North Carolina but I'm glad you still love me.

Jon

Jana said...

My sister-in-law is the best...but I hope she doesn't read these comments. I don't want her finding out that she can get $20 an ounce for her breast milk! I can't compete!

brossettelewis said...

Sorry he's back on the sauce (there was not an option of comment on the above post). Those were rockin' accommodations for your hobo husband, what a good daddy!

Trina said...

Wow...I cam across your blog from another friend...and I must say this is amazing! What a gift your SIL can give you! I think its a great blessing!